Angst - |a ng (k)st; ä ng (k)st| noun
a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. (from whatever dictionary is loaded onto my MacBook)
I have angst. I've had it for nearly a year. Its not the worried or stressful or hand-wringing kind of angst. Its not causing me to lose sleep and its not creating distraction in a detrimental way. Its not the kind that results in not trusting God. But there is a constant angst in me caused by discernment which seems to be suggesting some very big things are afoot.
I appreciate this definition above because my angst is "unfocused." I can't exactly put my finger on it, but it is related to the human condition and the state of the world in general. That's a big subject. And there are very big things going on. I believe a lot of people have this same angst right now.
I think this angst is somehow related to the fact that while I believe most people have this angst to some degree, and most people also believe that most people share this angst, it doesn't seem like anyone knows how to effectively discuss and respond to this angst over these big things going on, and the people who should be talking about these big things going on don't seem to have a clue that big things are going on. Someone needs to address this angst in a productive way. It seems to just linger, like a storm visible off shore threatening to create destruction, yet promising to relieve drought; but the weather channel won't acknowledge its presence.
Are you following me? If so, it can only be because you have this angst too. I think this angst is emotional and spiritual. There are big things going on.
Why am I telling you this, my faithful yet dwindling blog audience?
I think this angst of mine is the biggest block to my blogging. Because it is unfocused, it is difficult to even know where to start working it out. Every day, I have something I feel like I could blog about, but its difficult to get started because of focus - where do I start? It gets overwhelming and time consuming. My blogs could easily be thousands of words on a subject, whatever it is, and I don't have time to type all of that. This makes it especially hard to blog on serious subjects where I want to be thorough. If you know me, you understand that I can be a bit wordy (I recently preached a sermon that clocked in at an hour and six minutes. Take that Rob Bell!)
Another block is that some of my readers are people from my church where I pastor, which means some readers will take very seriously things I have to say about serious matters. So I need to becareful to post disclaimers, indicating whether my thoughts are strong conviction or mere speculation or commentary, especially when dealing with unspoken angst that many people are feeling but not expressing. Have no fear, remaining faithful readers, I'll still post some fun and an eventual exhaustive explanation about why Lost is the best show on TV.
I have some angst that Lost is not going to end well next year, but that's another issue.
Why am I inspired to blog now all of a sudden?
Well, another blogger, another pastor, found a way to express some of the angst he is feeling about changes coming to the church world. This is only a part of the angst I feel, but its relevant to it and a good place to start. Even if you aren't familiar with church terms or how church works, the issues discussed impact our culture significantly, whether you go to church or now. This relatively unknown blogger posted an article was picked up my major news magazines and websites and has caused a lot of buzz, especially in church circles. So I thought I would use his articles, entitled The Coming Evangelical Collapse to spur some writing of my own. We'll see if this works...
Disclaimer: These articles will cause you to think about your angst. Also, I don't necessarily agree with all of what is written, and my perspective is more optimistic - the changes he suggests are coming will lead to very good things in my view. But change is a comin', and I don't mean the political slogan tomfoolery we think of currently.
You can read all three parts at the link below. Feel free to comment on my blog if you wish to express your angst. I'll use this to inspire some blogs in the coming days.
If I can keep it short...
PS: "Tomfoolery" was not in my MacBook dictionary. A moment of angst about whether I should have stayed with a PC soon followed, but was quickly resolved.